Mass Media Bias

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The mass media is the means by which the majority of the public gets its daily national and global news updates. It is supposed to keep us informed and be a solid foundation from which we can form our own opinions. Because of this, it is unfortunate that the media in the United States is has an extreme bias on political topics. Being able to gather political information and facts about the government’s actions is critical in a democracy, however our market based media system makes it difficult to find neutral sources which don’t attempt to alter our perceptions. The political bias portrayed in our media system is represented by its use of agenda setting, one-sided dominance, and technology, resulting in a distrust of the media. This distrust…show more content…
Most conservatives get their information from the same few sources, the main one being Fox news. While 88% of conservatives were shown to trust Fox News, right winged individuals show an extensive distrust for the majority of other news sites (Mitchell et al., 2014). In an interview conducted on Maddie Hebbring, a conservative undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, she states that her preferred news sources are Fox News, the Washington Times, and the Wall Street Journal. She considers these sites to be straightforward and remotely fair. She also stated that she believes the media has an extremely liberal bias which includes attacks on republican politicians and an excess of liberal candidate support (2016). Hebbring stated in her interview that the New York Times, CNN, and NBC are difficult to view due to the political bias she perceives they show. She also admits that while she attempts to find more “middle of the road” media sources, Fox news can at times lean more towards her particular interests. During the interview, Hebbring voiced her frustration with the difficulty in finding completely neutral media (2016). This demonstrates how the media sources use the assimilation effect to their advantage. While Hebbring hopes for neutral media, she still gets her daily news from sources that are more conservative and admits that some may favor her opinions. She was also avidly against sources that are seen as having a more liberal tone. The clear distrust of the media shown by Hebbring as well as other conservatives is a result of the market based media system in the United
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